Monday 15 April 2024

April Live Book Sales - Wales, Ireland, events & schools



Selling books hand to hand and face to face continues to be my best way of getting them out there. Last month's tally shows me selling the equivalent of 66 Richard The Thirds at live events, and an actual 96 Richard The Thirds in schools, while my sales on Lulu/Amazon, Etsy, Blurb & D2D combined add up to about 40 books, which really doesn't compare.

April started well with the good librarians of Dublin taking 20 Richard The Thirds between them (the profit from which may just have covered the cost of the extra bag I need to take on the plane to carry them), and my next school ordering 29 copies in advance. Then came my first live event:

Swansea Stars Of Time Comicon, Sat April 14th

Total £393 - All books and caricatures, no art sold.

Richard The Third - 26
Midsummer (new edition) - 6
Prince Of Denmark St (original) - 4
Findlay Macbeth (new edition) - 2
Omnibus - 1
Socks Superheroes - 10 (sold out)
Doctors Who Colouring - 3
Euro Vol 1 - 1
Euro 2, 60s Col, Xmas Col - 1

This total follows on from Bristol with the practice of charging for my caricatures, which I had formerly been giving away free as an attractor to my table. Now I say they're free with a book, or a couple of quid donation (or they don't need to keep them, but no one took that option). Halfway through the day I'd already run out of my 100 pre-printed sheets and had to go out and buy more, so I drew about 150 caricatures in the day. If each of those netted me at least a quid, then that explains a fair bit of the total. It also explains the complete sellout of Socks Superheroes comics. At £3 that's the cheapest thing on the table, so they'll obviously plump for that if they really only want the caricature. So I need to print me off some more pocket money comics.

The next option up pricewise would be my three classic Shakespeares at £5.99, but as you can see the overwhelming choice was Richard The Thirds at £6.99, which tells you the demographic of the crowd. Hundreds of parents with kids, for whom Richard is the first choice by far. Some of them have alreay made a beeline for it because they've spotted the "Dogman" lookalike logo, which is starting to get me worried that I've done too good a job in apeing that house style. I mean, it's supposed to appeal to Dogman fans, but I don't want anyone thinking I'm passing myself off as the real thing. 

The new editions of Findlay and MNDT are the Lulu editions without the play at the back which, having sold out of my original 500 print run of both, is all I have left to sell. Meanwhile Richard is down to its last 90 copies, so I'd better get ordering that new print run, hadn't I?

This is my biggest one day total, excluding artwork, sales yet. Other events have taken two days to not raise that much. eg (book sales only, no art):

NICE Beds Sept Sat & Sun = £353
LFCC Nov Sat & Sun = £297
LFCC July Sat & Sun = £294
Bristol March Sat only = £279
Lakes Sept Sat & Sun = £266 
Exeter March Sat & Sun = £187
Torquay Feb Sat only = £213

April Sales In Schools

Apr 8 - 12 Ireland - 20 Richards sold @ €7 (yet to see what this becomes after deductions)
Apr 18 - Christchurch Lichfield - 26 Richards @ £6 = £156
Apr 23 - Etchinghill - 23 Richards @ £6 = £138





My Books and where to get them:

Richard The Third Amazon - Etsy - Barnes & Noble - Waterstones
Findlay Macbeth - Amazon  - Etsy 
Prince Of Denmark Street - Amazon - Etsy - Kindle
Midsummer Nights Dream Team  - Amazon Etsy 
Shakespeare Omnibus Collection (all 3 books) - Amazon

Tales From The Bible - Amazon -  Etsy - Webtoons
The Book Of Esther - Lulu  - Amazon Webtoons
Joseph, Ruth & Other Stories - Lulu
Captain Clevedon - Amazon
Tales Of Nambygate - Amazon  


Sunday 14 April 2024

Hotel reviews - Ireland

 


I ask you, what kind of mental contraption is this shower, from Mountain Widok guest house in Killorglin, County Kerry? While we're at it, I never found out what a Widok was. I shall assume a typo. 

Mountain Widok, Killorglin



Scored 8.0
A lovely family home, with a warm welcome, a smashing quiet location, and a great view on a good day.
No real complaints. That shower was a bit mental - first of all it squirted cold water at me horizontally, then from the seat upwards, and try as I might I could not work out how to adjust the temperature. Then all of a sudden it gave me hot water from above, and all was sorted. There was no milk for the tea and coffee (though I could have asked, I just didn't bother) and the choice of TV channels was a bit limited (unless you love whatever's on RTE in which case you were sorted).

Dublin Skylon

A lovely hotel, very conveniently located for my work (in Finglas) and with parking (that costs an extra tenner but is worth it). Also the TV had a good range of channels, including BBC, which suited me. A tight-fisted traveller like myself has a good choice of takeaways and a Lidl right outside.

No complaints. Though, watching my budget, I didn't stump up for breakfast, which seemed a bit pricey for my meagre needs.

Plaza Hotel, Tallaght

Perfect hotel in perfect location for work, and with free parking in the basement car park, and an excellent breakfast. Plus the TV was Smart, and had Youtube working on it (Netflix too, but I didn't risk using my password just in case), so I was well catered for.

Ach, what's not to like about Tallaght? You don't have to answer that. And luckily you don't have to venture out into Tallaght if you don't want to.

Travelodge, Swords

Convenient for someone who's flying early, with a garage for refuelling and a Lidl just across the way. And the car park is free, which is an absolute delight.

No complaints.

Easyhotel

Surprisingly good. When I first saw the room I thought it was a bit small and stark, but in fact it had everything I needed and is in a convenient location for shops, eateries and parking.

The TV looked like it had more channels than it ended up having (the BBC channels weren't working, but maybe that was temporary).

Phoenix Hotel

A nice old place, conveniently situated for work.
I know it's unfair, but the previous night I'd stayed at another hotel, equally convenient for work, and I'd have been better off there because there was better parking close by and more choice on the telly. This place only had RTE and Irish channels, no more exotic choices, and defo no BBC, ITV, Channel 4 or any such. I guess the fact that it was Taskmaster and Apprentice night was on my mind. Parking was on street and metered, with a frustrating meter which wouldn't let you pay in advance for the following morning, so I had to get up and stuff a meter at 7am.


My Books and where to get them:

Richard The Third Amazon - Etsy - Barnes & Noble - Waterstones
Findlay Macbeth - Amazon  - Etsy 
Prince Of Denmark Street - Amazon - Etsy - Kindle
Midsummer Nights Dream Team  - Amazon Etsy 
Shakespeare Omnibus Collection (all 3 books) - Amazon

Tales From The Bible - Amazon -  Etsy - Webtoons
The Book Of Esther - Lulu  - Amazon Webtoons
Joseph, Ruth & Other Stories - Lulu
Captain Clevedon - Amazon
Tales Of Nambygate - Amazon  



Friday 12 April 2024

Me Nanny Fell Down The Stairs - Comics by kids in Ireland (part 2)

My week of Comic Art Masterclasses in Ireland, which began in Finglas and Tallaght, continued in County Kerry (a three and a half hour drive each way, which you needn't bother yourself about), then back to Dublin for two more days.


Killorglin in County Kerry was a delightful rebooking, the kids made some smashing comics, and once again I wished I'd been able to see more of the place and its lovely countryside while I was here. But as ever it was a whistle stop tour. A three and a half hour drive there and nearer four hours on the way back. Ee, the lengths I go to.


St Pauls CBS in Dublin is one that's not had me back for a few years, and it was great to be back there too. The kids came up with some of the most inspiring ideas for their comic titles, which gave me some fun drawing to do.


The final day of the five day tour was James St CBS, which I was visiting for the first time. This was a perfect end to the week as, as well as having time to draw a nice flipchart for them (below), and them being a couple of lovely primary school classes for a change (the rest of the week all being First and Second Years, who are fine, but a different and sometimes more difficult audience), this was also the school where the librarian said "I'll take ten books" and I only had nine left. Result. (As documented here, I brought 20 copies of Richard The Third over with me, and didn't know whether I'd sell them all. I did.)




The celebrities these six groups chose to appear in my demonstration strip were Michael Jackson, LeBron James, Albert Einstein, Adam Sandler, Cristiano Ronaldo and Emma Watson.


My Books and where to get them:

Richard The Third Amazon - Etsy - Barnes & Noble - Waterstones
Findlay Macbeth - Amazon  - Etsy 
Prince Of Denmark Street - Amazon - Etsy - Kindle
Midsummer Nights Dream Team  - Amazon Etsy 
Shakespeare Omnibus Collection (all 3 books) - Amazon

Tales From The Bible - Amazon -  Etsy - Webtoons
The Book Of Esther - Lulu  - Amazon Webtoons
Joseph, Ruth & Other Stories - Lulu
Captain Clevedon - Amazon
Tales Of Nambygate - Amazon  



Mewlicious Sigma - Comics by kids in Ireland (part 1)


A lovely week of schools in Ireland, expertly organised by Martina, the librarian at St Aidans. And ironically the one school I didn't end up visiting was blooming St Aidans. Sorry Martina, how did that happen? The week goes Dublin, Dublin, Kerry, Dublin, Dublin, so I was kept busy.


We began the week at New Cross in Finglas, which I've not visited for a few years. It was a good return visit, and Ciaran the librarian bought 4 copies of my book, for which I was most grateful. No grateful in fact that I let him get away with squeezing three groups into the day. Yes, on Monday I worked with 90 kids and we produced three whole comics.


It was the First Years of New Cross that introduced me to the concept of the Sigma male. It's a meme that they find hilarious, and is at the very least problematic. Whatever, we got away with it. As for the word Zesty, and why every subsequent First Year group  has found it so funny, I remain none the wiser.


Jamal, as chosen by the First Years of Killinarden in Tallaght, is another distasteful meme. I'd go so far as to call it racist. But luckily I think I got away with it by drawing basketball player Jamal Murray. As for Daddy Pig's foot fetish? First years are Year 8s, with all that entails.

The celebrities these first five groups chose to appear in my demonstration strip were Drake - FOUR TIMES!!!! and also Jojo Siwa (of whom I had never heard before, she's a singer apparently).

The week in Ireland continues...


My Books and where to get them:

Richard The Third Amazon - Etsy - Barnes & Noble - Waterstones
Findlay Macbeth - Amazon  - Etsy 
Prince Of Denmark Street - Amazon - Etsy - Kindle
Midsummer Nights Dream Team  - Amazon Etsy 
Shakespeare Omnibus Collection (all 3 books) - Amazon

Tales From The Bible - Amazon -  Etsy - Webtoons
The Book Of Esther - Lulu  - Amazon Webtoons
Joseph, Ruth & Other Stories - Lulu
Captain Clevedon - Amazon
Tales Of Nambygate - Amazon  



Sunday 7 April 2024

Selling comics in schools - Irish experiment


On the one hand I recently discovered kids in schools could buy books, as per this blog. On an additional finger of that same hand, last summer I tried selling books on a trip to Northern Ireland and did so well I ran out of books, as per this blog. And, if the fingers on hands metaphor can stand it, this week I'm about to do five days of classes in schools in Ireland. So, place your bets, am I going to sell lots of books or not?

On the other hand, the kids who bought books in schools recently were all in primary schools, and this week will be all secondary schools. So will we discover secondary school kids don't buy books? On an additional finger of that same hand, in Northern Ireland it was all the parents of kids in my classes that were buying the books, whereas this week I'm working directly with kids, who need forewarning before they'll come in with money. Added to which, on another one of these fingers, we've just had the Easter holidays which means the kids most likely haven't even been told about my visit let alone about the chance to buy books.

And, to add to the variety of variables in this situations, I've only been able to squeeze 20 copies of Richard The Third into my bags anyway, see photo above. (How I fitted 30 into my bags last summer, I don't know. Is Richard that much thicker than the other books?*). So I'll be selling a maximum of 20 books, which would be a marvellous thing and would pay for a night and a bit in one of these hotel rooms I'm forking out for. 

Or a minimum of no books, which will lead me to re-examine how much extra I paid in order to have a bag in the hold so's I could bring those 20 books. What's the betting it's about the same as the potential profit from 20 books?

*NB Last summer it was copies of three different books I was selling, so one punter could actually buy all three and regularly did. That already limits this trip's sales potential. That said, the primary schools last month were only buying Richard The Thirds.

It's Sunday as I type this. Let us see how Monday to Friday in five different schools in Dublin and County Kerry pans out.

Day 1, Monday in Finglas. Ciaran the librarian buys 4 books. And we discover my iZettle credit card reader won't work in Ireland so we'll add it to my invoice.

Day 2, Tuesday in Tallaght. Linda the librarian buys two books, added to invoice.

Day 3, Wednesday in County Kerry. She tells me they're getting rid of books and going digital. No sales.

Day 4, Thursday in Dublin, Annie buys five.

Day 5, Friday in Dublin, Lorna says "I'll take ten", and I only have nine left. A complete sellout and a fine end to the week. Even better, she displays them. Result.



My Books and where to get them:

Richard The Third Amazon - Etsy - Barnes & Noble - Waterstones
Findlay Macbeth - Amazon  - Etsy 
Prince Of Denmark Street - Amazon - Etsy - Kindle
Midsummer Nights Dream Team  - Amazon Etsy 
Shakespeare Omnibus Collection (all 3 books) - Amazon

Tales From The Bible - Amazon -  Etsy - Webtoons
The Book Of Esther - Lulu  - Amazon Webtoons
Captain Clevedon - Amazon
Tales Of Nambygate - Amazon  


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